DIY Drysuit Heated Vest

I finally got around to “finishing” my DIY drysuit heated vest project. While I have been using a Thermalution heated vest for the past two seasons I wanted something with a little longer runtime that heated over a larger area. I also wanted the ability to isolate the battery in the event of failure.  I really can’t take credit for this design as I pretty much copied the parts list from my friends Matt and Lea who designed their vests before me.  I waited for them to be guinea pigs until…

Diving Peirce Island Wall

Diving Peirce Island

The Return of Diving Peirce Island The weather and tides finally cooperated enough for me to try diving Peirce Island again but this time we wanted to enter at the original entry point.  From my research a couple weeks ago I knew it would be about a 10 minute walk in full SCUBA gear to get to the old entry point for Peirce Island.   This area is unique because there is wall that drops off to ~70ft. The entire wall / rock face is covered in frilled anemones, making it…

Peirce Island Exploration Dive

Due to the massive construction project that has been going on at Peirce Island I have not been able to dive one of my favorite winter shore diving sites for nudibranch photography.  This has led me to research other possible entry points or dive sites in the Picataqua River.  I’ve only explored a couple areas so far and while I haven’t found anything similar to the massive hydroid field at Peirce, I have managed to find some cool bottles so that has been an added bonus. Since I knew the…

Trip Report: 5 days of Cave Diving in Florida

Florida Cave Diving for Thanksgiving I was starting to get the travel itch again so I figured an impromptu trip to cave country in Florida was on the agenda.  I guess it really wasn’t impromptu; a couple of my friends were driving down and it was really a question of if I could find a cheap flight and rental car. Luckily I was able to find a flight on JetBlue on Thanksgiving for under $300 from Boston to Jacksonville.  My friends Matt and Lea offered to mule down my rebreather…

Thompson’s Point Shore Dive in Lake Champlain

Thompson's Point Lake Champlain

We decided to do something a little different this weekend.  Myself, Matt, Lea and Tom went up to Lake Champlain for some planned exploratory shore diving.  We also figured we would hit some of the restaurants and breweries in Burlington. Thompson’s Point There is an area in Lake Champlain called Thompson’s Point which is rumored to have some very cool topography (vertical wall) underwater.  It’s an area that is also one of the deepest points of the lake. We had no real ambitious plans to go “super” deep but we carried…

U853 with Canned Air Dive Charters

It just so happens that Tom let me know that Red from Giant Stride Dive Shop was putting together one last U853 charter of the season.  I jumped on it since it was Capt Wayne’s last charter of season before he pulls his boat out and I haven’t been on the U853 at all this year. I awoke at 4am to do the drive from Boston to Wakefield, RI for a 6:15am load time.  It was me, Tom, Sang, Brie, and a couple guys from Virginia Beach that drove down.  Red…

Trip Report: Wreck of the Baleen with Daybreaker

Wreck of Baleen

I crewed on both the morning and afternoon charters this Saturday for Matt.  On the morning charter we went to Halfway Rock and Southeast Breakers with a group from East Coast Divers. On the afternoon charter we made it out to the wreck of the Baleen. In the morning we had a bit of an incoming swell but otherwise topside conditions were great. Divers reported approximately 10-20ft of visibility. They said it varied depending on depth.  We spotted harbor seals on the surface and a whale off in the distance.…

Trip Report: F/V Patriot Wreck with Cape Ann Charters (Daybreaker)

F/V Patriot

Quick Trip Report We managed to sneak out and get two great dives in this morning on the F/V Patriot in Stellwagen Bank.   East Coast Divers had booked a full charter and we had great group of divers on-board the Daybreaker. Managing to get out to Stellwagen Bank in the fall is always a risk especially in October but nevertheless we had good conditions on the way out.  Flat calm seas and very little swell. Unfortunately things picked up a bit (as the marine forecast predicted) in the afternoon as…

ScubaForce SF2 Rebreather Demo at Hathaway’s Pond

Hathaway's Pond

SF2 Rebreather Demo I finally got the chance to do a nice demo on the ScubaForce SF2 rebreather with Alex Dulavitz of East Coast Divers.  My friend Luigi was also doing a demo on the unit as well.  Additionally, Aleksey joined us for a swim around on the pond on his Prism 2. I will admit I have been intrigued by the unit for quite a while.  A backmounted counterlung unit providing good flood tolerance with a clean profile, simple setup, and good engineering.  At least on initial appearance these…

Trip Report: St. Lawrence River with Blue Foot Diving

EDIT: This blog post is about a month after the trip. I finally got around to posting a trip report so it’s missing a bunch of details. I decided to head up to the St. Lawrence River for a long weekend of “warm” fresh water diving with a group of friends.    For those who aren’t in the know, diving in the St Lawrence River is often called the “Caribbean of the North.”  The warm top layer of water from Lake Ontario feeds into the St Lawrence River Seaway, combined…